On 25 April 1859, the Suez Canal Company, under the instruction of Ferdinand de Lesseps, started work on building the canal on the shore of the future Port Said.
Unlike the building of the Panama Canal, de Lesseps bravely set forth on the project despite not having a brilliant palindome in place to inspire the people working on the project – admittedly, Suez might not be that easy to work into a palindrome, although Zeus might disagree with that…
To mark the first day of actual construction here is a fascinating letter (published in May 1859) that describes the early stages of the project.
Morning Chronicle – Wednesday 18 May 1859
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